That guy on the left? That's one of my best friends, Ryan.
And that beautiful woman next to him? That's his momma, Jan. Isn't she gorgeous?
Jan passed away on Saturday, April 27. She had been fighting cancer since last December. Unfortunately, the cancer won.
Jan was an incredible woman, one that her son loves very much. Her kind, giving spirit touched many people, including my group of friends, The Crew.
Last spring, we all hiked Badger, and then went over to Jan and Nick's house for breakfast, which consisted of the most AMAZING croissant french toast (seriously, so good!), and all sorts of bacon and fruit and goodness. Ryan had been RAVING about the french toast for way too long...it was wonderful to finally indulge in it!
Two days ago, Ryan and I hiked Badger. Usually we reserve this for Sunday mornings, but the weather was beautiful and he needed to clear his head, so I invited myself to tag along. Our last Sunday hike together, after we finished and started to drive away, he called me..."I just talked to mom and told her that we hiked. She asked if you kicked my ass again." I laughed...because of course I had! As we hiked Monday night, that memory flashed through my mind. I know his routine...to call her each time he finishes the hike. Tonight would be different, and my heart sank. At the end of the hike, he brought up this same fact, that he usually calls her. I was thankful that I had my sunglasses on so that he couldn't see my eyes water.
I only met this beautiful woman once, at her home, but when Ryan sent me the text last Saturday that read, "Mom isn't doing well. Now is the time to pray," I cried. I cried and cried and couldn't stop. I wrote him back, told him that I love him, and to please tell her that I love her, and that she didn't need to worry, because we would take care of him...and we will. I can't even type that without crying...but we will, Jan. I promise!
Jan, I am thankful that you are out of pain. I am thankful to have known you, even for a short time. You are loved, and you are missed. Rest in peace.